Coach Mike T

–Meet Coach Mike T–

mike

What do you do for a living? Career?

I’m a Physical Education teacher who currently works at a school with special needs children.

When, how and why did you get started with CrossFit?

About 5 years ago, I was driving home from work and saw 2 ripped guys doing some crazy movements (I later realized they were performing Clean & Jerks) with lots of weight outside of a little storefront with ropes and rings in the back ground. I walked into my first box and was instantly hooked. I grew so tired and board with Bicep/Back Mondays, Triceps/Chest Tuesdays etc.; this was an amazing challenge and it was something new. I still hold my very first coaches high on a crossfit pedestal because they showed me things I never thought I was able to do. They always practice what they preach and care so much about their clients. I’ve shaped myself to be comparable in that manner and hope our athletes here at CF Breed can have the same feelings I felt all those years ago.

 

mike5How has CF changed your life?

At first it was about the aesthetics and wanting to look how these crossfit athletes looked, but later the true meaning of crossfit, for me, was revealed. Living a full, long, successful and healthy life is what crossfit is about. I now understand that my overall performance, physically and mentally, is what drives me; not having those 6-pack abs that everyone strives for (although that is a nice perk :). Working so hard for that hour and pushing through workouts with the community is a feeling that is indescribable. Crossfit has allowed me to take many chances in life, not just physical, but emotional, social and mental chances as well. I feel like crossfit absolutely changed my life and my future because I met my fiancé at a box. Finding someone like her, who shares a common passion is one of the most fulfilling and reassuring things a man can ask for. Love CF.

 

Did you play sports as a youth?

I played football when I was young but was sidelined by a back injury. All doctors told me to stop playing sports because of the risk of re-injuring my back or making it worse. I started running after high school when a physical therapist told me that I must make my back stronger, and eventually found CrossFit. 

Any advice on nutrition?  

Plan your meals and make them at home. It might seem intimidating in the beginning, but cooking at home is probably the healthiest advice I can give. If you need any ideas about food or how to plan/package your meals throughout the day, don’t hesitate to ask.

 

How did you end up at Breed?

I lived in Ridgewood with my family from 1985-1996, until I moved to Long Island for years. I wasn’t until October 2014 that I knew I was moving back to the old neighborhood. I researched boxes in the area and happened to walk past Breed. I couldn’t believe it was so close to my house, so I had to meet with Hutch. We spoke a few times and met together to discuss the same questions that are being answered here on this meet the coach page. Hutch and Liz couldn’t be any nicer and understanding of my situation of wanting to belong to a box and community that accepts everyone. Once we all WODed together, it was all we needed. The athletes responded well and we all have great chemistry. I love my box. 

 

Which is you favorite WOD or movement? And which is your least favorite?miketee1

My favorite WODS are Hero WODS and long chippers (like 12  Days of Christmas or The Final Countdown), Nasty Girls, Fight Gone Bad and Helen.  My least favorite has to be the bar muscle up because I usually rip my hands.  

 

As an athlete, what are your strengths/weaknesses?  

I would have to say my strengths are my speed, consistency, pacing and endurance.  My weakness would be heavy weights for long periods of time, a benchmark like “DT” isn’t my forte. 

What CrossFit credentials do you posses?  

I posses my CrossFit Level I Trainer Certification.  I would like to attain my CF-L2, CrossFit Kids, CF Gymnastics and an Olympic Weightlifting Certification.

Personal Accomplishments

  • 1st Place Subway Series ’13 (Scale Division)
  • Civilian Military Combine
  • Tough Mudder
  • Numerous Half Marathons
  • Spartan Race

 

Little Know Silly Facts:miketee3

  • I sometimes keep myself awake thinking about WODs and getting excited about going to the box the next day
  • I sometimes train at 4:45 AM (specifically school days)
  • I know the  words to almost every song that plays at the box
  • I’m a huge WWE fan
  • I can do impressions; some are actually pretty good

 

 

Coach Alex

— Meet Coach Alex aka Pollo Picante —

alex1

What do you do for a living?

I make people better! I am the manager of a Health Club facility and I am a CrossFit Coach.

Can you tell us how and why you got into CrossFit?

My fitness journey ironically started the day after I blacked out in the middle of the day on a busy street. I felt my heart racing insanely fast and my veins were pulsating abnormally strong. I felt light headed and was going into a cold sweat. My legs grew heavy and I had no control of my equilibrium, I was in the process of fainting when I quickly grabbed a street pole to regain my composure. This was my wakeup call! The next day I went to see my doctor and he did a complete check up. My blood work results combined with my family’s poor health history was a receipt for disaster. I was overweight, some might say obese, my cholesterol levels were off the chart and to top it off I was on the verge of becoming diabetic. Changes had to be made, so I changed my eating habits and began to workout. After 3 years of working out at a conventional gym I needed a change, the workout routines grew monotonous and my focus and dedication began to waiver. I resorted to lots of running to intensity my results. I began searching for a fresh and exciting new program, that’s when I came across CrossFit and its mythology; Constantly Varied Functional Movement at High Intensity. I was hooked and believed it makes people better.

How has CrossFit changed your life?alex2

CrossFit has taught me to never give up and push forward no matter how much the odds are stacked up against me. When I started CrossFit it was a challenge for me to back squat over 185 lbs, it was so heavy I thought I could never get pass it. I look back at those days and it reminds me how far I have come, how strong I have gotten not only physically, but more importantly mentally. Regardless of the task put in front of me, I will always find a way to complete it. My journey into CrossFit has definitely enlightened me and sparked my interest for so many other things. I am always seeking to learn more about nutrition, gymnastics, weightlifting, mobility and all things health related. Not only do I keep my body healthy and strong but also my mind. Tell me you can’t and I will find a way to change that. Through CrossFit I realized that my greatest strength is my mind. There is no limit to my ability in reaching goals and completing challenges. This is the mindset I apply to my life and it’s the same philosophy I train my athletes with. Tell me you can’t; and I will find a way to change it into you can and you will!

Did you play sports as a youth?

I was not very athletic as a child. I tried playing sports but I wasn’t very good. Football was my sport of choice, but only because of my size. I was given the ball because of my sheer size. I was like a big bull dozer running down the field, no one could knock me down. As I grew older and slower, the other kids got stronger and faster. My size was no longer an “asset”, it was what it always was, a problem.

Any advice on nutrition?

I am no expert at nutrition, but I did lose over 95 lbs. I did this by preparing my own food at home, I saved money and eliminated unwanted additives, I knew exactly what I was eating. I recommend eating meat, I mean LOTS of meat, get in as many vegetables as possible and I eat carbohydrates strategically, they are not the enemy, they are good for you, as long as you eat them at the right times. If you are consistent with clean eating, indulging 2-3 times a month will not be an issue. I, for example, am known for my clean eating habits, so when people see me eating the occasional taco or cheesecake they are surprised. These cheat meals keep my sanity in order and my progress on track.

How did you end up at CF Breed?

I heard through word of mouth that a new CrossFit facility had opened up in the area. I knew right away that I would check out the “box” and feel out the community. I was searching for a new CrossFit home, because my previous box, CrossFit Harlem, was going through changes. From my first day at Breed I knew this was the place I needed to be at. Coach Hutch greeted me upon coming in, and the 5:30 crew lead by Petie welcomed me with open arms. Anyone familiar with the CrossFit community and how it supports and motivates it’s members can understands the quality of this value. I think everyone that decides to make a certain Box their home knows what I’m talking about. It’s just a feeling you can’t put into words.

What is your favorite WOD or movement?

I really enjoyed doing “Frantasy Land” from the 2014 Games. It was a twist on the infamous benchmark “Fran” workout. I love thrusters because its two movements in one, it combines strength, conditioning and works great on midline stability. I also like bar muscle ups, because they took me 3 years to learn, but through mental strength and constant practice I conquered them.

What is your least favorite?

I don’t really have a least favorite WOD, because I enjoy the challenge, but I can do without long distance running, it is just so boring! That being said I intent on doing “Clover” (10 mile run and 150 burpees for time) in the near future, yuck, I can’t wait. My least favorite skill has to be those darn dreaded Double-Unders, why oh why must they elude me!!!! I can also use more practice with my gymnastics, specifically rings and handstands.

Credentials:alex3
• CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
• CrossFit Stongman Trainer
• CrossFit Gymnastics & Advance Gymnastics
• CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer
Goals & Aspirations:
• B.A in Nutrition/Dietetics
• B.A in Exercise Science
• CrossFit Level 2 & 3
• CrossFit Games Regionals 2015
Personal Accomplishments:
• Losing close to 100 lbs
• 5K Color Run July 2013
• CrossFit credentials
Little Known Silly Facts:
• I love cheesecake and pumpkin pie
• My nickname is El Pollo Picante (Spicy Chicken), if you’re curious just ask and I explain how it came about.
• Mexican is my favorite food, I really like guacamole!

Nutritional Lifestyle Coaching Program

The Breed Nutritional Lifestyle Coaching Program !

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We are gearing up to launch our first cycle of a 12-Week Lifestyle Nutrition Coaching Program – This program is for anyone looking to improve their eating habits and live a healthier life. This program will be a habit-based 12-week nutritional program designed to spring board you into a lifetime of healthy eating. Perhaps you have been following our CrossFit programming for a while now and you are ready to get this aspect of your health up to par with your performance; or maybe you’ve been struggling to lose a few pounds, looking to get leaner, or you need some help setting some goals and sticking to them. No matter what your goal is, we are here to help!

If you are interested all you have to do is email Hutch (hutch@crossfitbreed.com) for details. This program is open to both active and non-active members of Breed interested in a healthy lifestyle. The cost for the program with be $99 (active members) and $150 (non-active members). This amount will be split into three (3) equal monthly payments.

The 12-Week program will include a private, online Facebook group that participants will be invited to once they enroll in the program. Coach Alex and myself will mediate this group. Each week, you will receive an email; the email will be a new healthy habit for that week along with some pertinent information towards helping you establish and implement these healthy habits. Prior to starting this awesome program, you will have an initial consult with Coach Alex or myself to discuss where you are and where you want to be. You will be provided with a welcome packet; in this packet you will find information on macro-nutrients, a shopping list guide, and a food log journal. Although not necessary, it is recommended to take before/after photos and body fat measurements to be used as a measuring and adjusting tool.

The actual program will launch in September (specifically, September 22nd through December 14th) in alignment with getting you on track and ready to enjoy your holidays and having a healthy habit formed nutritional arsenal in order!

Be ready to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, make lifestyle changes and maybe even figure out the real reasons why you haven’t been able to keep from gaining that pesky weight back. You will receive additional guidance and support from Coach Alex, myself and the rest of the participants in the program, which is a key factor in helping you stay on track and disciplined towards making these habits a part of your everyday living. Although most people know how to eat clean, they don’t do it consistently and aren’t held accountable for their actions. This program will provide that accountability within one’s self, the group, and with the help of the coaches.

Saturday 6.28.14

Work Out of the Day

4 rounds for time of:

500 meter Row

5 Hand Release Push Ups

10 Box Jumps

5 HR Push Ups

10 Box Jumps

5 HR Push Ups

10 Box Jumps

400 meter Run

CrossFit Total – CFT

CrossFit-Total-Torrance

What is CrossFit Total?

The CrossFit Total will test functional strength capacity, it is the sum of the best of three attempts at the Squat, the Press and the Deadlift.  We have been building strength with classic compound movements and implemented two months of the Wendler 5/3/1 program to build more strength.  On Wednesday of this coming week (May 21) we will perform CrossFit Total.

The Rules

The lifts will be performed in the following order: squat, press, and then deadlift. The best single attempt for each of the three lifts is added together for the CrossFit Total score. You will have 15 minutes to complete your attempts for each lift. The only other rule is that each attempt must be declared prior to starting the lift. Once you are warm and ready to attempt your lift, you must tell the coach. Only one person can attempt a lift at a time. This will allow the coach to validate your lift, and let everyone else watch and cheer you on.

Strategy

Your first declared attempt should be a weight you know you can do for a heavy set of three. That weight should be at about 85% of your Wendler 531 max (a number you should have recorded). The second attempt should be a weight you know without any doubt that you could do for a single, having just done the first attempt. Lastly, the third attempt is the weight you want to lift, based on your performance on the previous two attempts.

The Warm-Up

Your coach will lead you through a class warm-up as always, but the lift specific preparation is up to you. We recommend you use the lift structure listed below to get you warm and ready to achieve a new 1RM. The following percentages don’t have to be exact:

35% x 5
45% x 3
55% x 2
65% x 1
80% x 1
90% x 1

Then your first attempt
After the squat, rest for a couple minutes (long enough to recover, but not long enough to get cold) and follow the same warm-up for the press. The squat 1RM attempts will provide a serious central nervous system jolt and so it should be easier to prepare for the press. Following the press maxes, the deadlift preparation should again be slightly more curtailed.

Basic precautions that need to be followed for safety:

1) Don’t be stupid.
Don’t Total if you’re injured to the extent that
a Total will aggravate the problem. This will
cost you in at least training time, and possibly
time off of work if you’re ultra-stupid.
2) Don’t be greedy.
Learn to recognize the difference between
greed and ambition, and be merely ambitious.
3) Don’t be pig-headed.
If your first attempt tells you that you need to
lower your second, do so, without a misplaced
sense of diminished self-worth. It’s a test,
and it’s designed to measure what’s there,
not create something that’s not. That’s what
training is for!

Good Luck

Wendler 5/3/1 Strength Program

NEW STRENGTH PROGRAM

images (3)Starting in April we will be moving into a new strength program, Wendler 5/3/1.  This is a powerlifting program based off 90% of your 1RM for four core movements:  Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Overhead Press.  That being said within the next two weeks we will be finding our 1RM in these four movements. 1RM or 1 Repetition Maximum, means the maximum amount of weight you can lift for 1 rep. 

One important thing to remember is that CrossFit is a group class so individual progress and record keeping will be the job of the athlete.  With this program as with CrossFit everything is measurable, so it is vital to keep a record of your numbers if you are interested in following the program and measuring you performance progress.  If you aren’t to concern with performance and just want to get a great fitness workout then that is also fine, but let’s keep in mind that the amount of weight being used in each workout will be determined by your strength, each workout should be certain percentages of your one-rep max.   I understand not everyone will be able to make all the training sessions and that’s also fine, you will just continue with the set/rep scheme as prescribed on the days you come in.

This program will ONLY using 90% of your 1RM, building strength is a marathon not a sprint.  The program will work on a 4 day training cycle, week 1 is your 5 reps, week 2 is your 3 reps, week 3 is you 5/3/1 rep and week 4 will be your de-load week each cycle will last one month.   At the end of the month we will add 5 pound to the bench press and overhead press and we will add 10 pounds to the squat and deadlift.

The work schedule will look like this:

MONDAY: SQUAT,      TUESDAY: BENCH PRESS,      THURSDAY: DEADLIFT,      FRIDAY: OVERHEAD PRESS.

The exercises will be interchangeable with variations on a monthly bases.

Week 1:  (Wendler 5’s) – start with a warm-up for 3 sets (40% x5, 50% x5 and 60% x3)

65% of 90% 1RM x 5 reps

75% of 90% 1RM x 5 reps

85% of 90% 1RM x 5+ reps (As many reps as possible, MUST be more than 5)

 

Week 2: (Wendler 3’s) – start with a warm-up for 3 sets (40% x5, 50% x5 and 60% x3)

 

70% of 90% 1RM x 3 reps

80% of 90% 1RM x 3 reps

90% of 90% 1RM x 3+ reps (As many reps as possible, MUST be more than 3)

 

Week 3: (Wendler 5/3/1) – start with a warm-up for 3 sets (40% x5, 50% x5 and 60% x3)

 

75% of 90% 1RM x 5 reps

85% of 90% 1RM x 3 reps

95% of 90% 1RM x 1+ reps (As many reps as possible, MUST be more than 1)

 

Week 4: (De-Load)

 

All Strength for this week will ONLY be in the 40%-60% of 90% 1RM.

 

Week5:  New Cycle…..start week 1 again, if you hit all your numbers, which you should, you will add 5lbs to your 1RM Press’s and 10lbs to your 1RM Squat/Deadlift and re-calculate your 90% 1RM.

 

Yes, yes, yes I know, at this point you’re saying to yourself, “what the hell is coach talking about”, not to worry I will have a Wendler calculator uploaded to the Daily WOD, so that you can have your percentages worker out prior to the cycle starting.  For your convenience you will have your weight percentages for the entire month.   This program will start light and progress slowly but you will break personal repetition records on a weekly basis.  So if you squat 225# x 6 and then 225# x 9 you have gotten stronger, by default your 1RM will also be higher.

 

The Wendler Strength program is a pure strength program, but fear not we will still add our conditioning met-cons daily and we will also add Olympic and gymnastics skills throughout the programming.

 

Olympic lifting

We will be implementing an Olympic workshop to continue practicing and further studying our classic lifts (Clean & Jerk and Snatch) over by the wood platforms in the near future.  Ed Feliz will be helping us out with this new endeavor and it will eventually lead to a Barbell/Weightlifting Club.  This will be a separate program added to our scheduler alongside our CrossFit group classes.

 

If Its Good For You, Do It

IF IT’S GOOD FOR YOU, DO IT!

 

There is a lot of talk, has been and always will be talk on CrossFit being bad for you.  I’ve heard it all, but the bottom line is this:  Good mechanics done consistently, then and only then, add in some intensity (load or speed); this is good for you period; regardless of what name you put on it. jaimedeadlifting

As a coach, the greatest benefits I’ve found in teaching CrossFit are:

  • It exposes weaknesses.  CrossFit will expose your weaknesses in a week or so with its constantly varied workouts.  I had a young athletic member come in and sign up, the kid was strong, fast, he was pressing tremendous weight but he could not get one hand stand push up, his ring dips weren’t as strong as they should be.  Weaknesses exposed.   I still have him in regular classes but he now has homework, he needs to specialize his accessory work to strength his weaknesses on his time.
  • The competitive aspect.  The classes bring out the best in some people because they want to compete with others in the class.  If you train with people stronger and faster, you will get stronger and faster.  I have a 60 something year’s old lady that has excelled beyond my wildest expectations all because she was in class with fitter people than she was.  At first she was taking private lessons and progress was steady but slow, I suggested to take a class, she did and hasn’t looked back.  She saw the other ladies doing pull ups and in her mind was determined to get one.  Her intensity levels increased in a class room setting and so did her results.  She still doesn’t have a pull up, but that thought of getting one keeps her motivated and training hard.
  • Chasing better performance over losing weight.  Many clients come in to CrossFit wanting to lose weight and “tone up” their body.  I understand the thought process behind this idea and I accept it at face value.  I also understand once a person realizes their fitness/performance potential, losing weight becomes secondary.  The primary goal changes to “I want to now dead lift X amount of pounds or I want to get a muscle up.  So I’ve seen goals change from general (lose weight and get stronger) to specific (Dead lift 400 pounds and run a 6 minute mile).

In this day and age with obesity, diabetes and all the other “genetic” aliments plaguing us as humans any fitness program will be a positive step to a healthier life.  Doctors are always prescribing for their patients to be more active; take an after dinner walk; take the stairs instead of elevators, etc.  So even if you don’t ever want a muscle up, don’t care about competing against classmates or just want to lose weight CrossFit is still a great kick ass program to get you fit.

 

Goal Setting for 2014 & Beyond!

New Year New Goals “Make Me Better”

thinkyoucan

Mind Set

How many of your New Year resolutions have fallen by the waste side by February 1st?  You have long forgotten about all the enthusiasm you felt while thinking about the “new” person you want to become.  You have resorted back to your old ways.  Your old habits die hard.  Eating junk and becoming lazy has crept back into your life and this routine is “easy”.  Deep down you know it’s unhealthy BUT being healthy is just too much work; this is how you reason with yourself.  It’s an internal war you have, with NO winner.

Why will this year be any different you ask?  Well to be honest, it’s all totally up to YOU.  The more you quit on yourself the easier it becomes.  You have talked yourself out of so many prior commitments, that doing so again, is just so easy.  When will you break the cycle?  Nobody said it will be easy, and if it’s really something of value to you, it shouldn’t be easy.  If it were easy everyone would be doing it!  So enough of the pity party, the self-worthless speeches you feed yourself.  Stop being a damn quitter and accomplish the goals you set for yourself this year and every year forth.  Don’t use the words, “I will try” because this is negative reinforcement, you are giving yourself an escape route.

Don’t give yourself a way out.  Make yourself accountable for your thoughts, words and actions.  You thought of this “new healthy, strong, fearless YOU”, so say you WILL and then DO!

Thoughts Manifest

There are many self-motivational books out on the market with great strategies to keep you on track and help you stay focused on your goals.  Here are a few of my own techniques I use to set and accomplish goals.

  • Hold on to The Feeling.  What does this mean you ask?  Well I am talking about that initial feeling of enthusiasm you felt when you visualized your goal.  In your mind you saw a vision of what you wanted to accomplished, with that vision you felt great, that is the feeling of accomplishment, and the funny thing is you didn’t accomplish anything physically yet but your mind/body felt it.  This is what I mean by hold on to the “feeling”, relive The Feeling every chance you get.  Your mind/body doesn’t believe on its own, it only believes what you believe or don’t believe.  When you are having a tough day, cheated on a meal, skipped the gym, thoughts of doubt starting to creep in, reboot yourself and relive The Feeling.
  • Write down those initial goals, thought and be as specific as you can with each and every goal.  Write down your Game Plan, this is the Action you will DO to accomplish and bring The Feeling into Being.  For example I will weight 155 lbs. by February 15, 2014.  I will eat a paleo diet, removing all sugar and processed junk, for this duration and I will go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Live The Feeling as you write down your Game Plan.  Keep the Game Plan near and dear to you, keep it as a positive reinforcement, and reread it in times of doubt.  When you write down your Action, keep them in the positive and be affirmative with the statements.
  • Always have a plan and be prepared for the unknown, when that doesn’t work have a plan B and C; and when those don’t work, take the lost and start again.  When you feel and think and act as a Winner that doesn’t mean you will never fail, what it means is when a setback occurs, you will be able to get back up, learn from the experience and have a plan for the next time.  Never quitting.  For example; with a new Paleo diet you will need to prepare all your meals and know exactly what you will eat each day, that’s plan A.  Plan B would know alternative places to eat when you didn’t prepare your meal.  Plan C comes into play when that place is closed, you need to have a backup plan to the backup plan.  If Plan C isn’t doable and you are all out of plans then just eat the best way you can that meal and keep to you Game Plan for the next meal.  Don’t give negativity too much thought, move on, and think about The Feeling.

These are technique I use to keep me successful when I set goals for myself.  Stay positive, have fun and be adaptable.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Final Thoughts

I’ve read somewhere that it takes 90 days to make something a habit.  Habit is a pattern, a routine; it becomes the new way of doing thing.  Our Paleo Challenge is only 30 days long but I anticipation the changes this new lifestyle will bring will reinforce the power of thought, action and determination.  I eagerly await the new mind set to help you in all your endeavors not only healthy eating, but also family, financial and career goals.  Controlling your thoughts is a powerful tool in all aspects of life; it is the key to success.

 

Coach Hutch

CrossFit Breed